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New, Updated C++ Tooling in Visual Studio 2017, VS Code

Visual Studio 2017 and Visual Studio Code are a bit more C++-friendly now that tools have improved support. Plus: Windows 10 evaulation VMs are now updated and available.

What do C and C++ developers use to write and manage code if they don't use Visual Studio? It seems like a simple idea, to be able to use the Visual Studio IDE to keep things in check from concept to delivery, but as I understand it, C++ developers are a picky lot. Some developers have told me they're more than willing to adapt to the environment dictated by the companies they work for, and those tools are rarely changed or updated. Likewise, lone-wolf developers prefer to maintain consistency in tools, and often never add to their toolboxes, with many opting for a simple text editor and a slew of tools to manage all the output.

Microsoft's VS team is hoping to change minds, and it starts with a series of posts aimed at giving C/C++ developers more reasons to centralize their coding efforts from Visual Studio 2017, now that they have made the tools a bit more C++-friendly.:

The Visual Studio team is also making a case for Visual Studio Code as a capable code editor, with an update to the C/C++ extension for VSC that includes Error Squiggles, Quick Info, Go to Declaration, and Bash on Windows debugging capabilities. Details are here.

Error Squiggles and Quick Info are experimental features for now, and are enabled in a version of VSC accessible only to those participating in the Insider program. Error squiggles show up for any elements in a workspace that are missing information. Quick Info pops up when a mouse hovers over a variable or function, and reveals type information or a function's signature.

Go to Declaration is now included in a right-click menu that pops up on variables or functions. It allows navigation to declaration files for those objects. The Bash on Windows debugging support is new, and is part of the support that was integrate into the Windows 10 Creators Update that was released earlier this month.

On a related note, at the Windows Dev Center is virtual machine containing an evaluation build for the most recent Windows 10 OS. The VM is a 20GB download and contains Windows 10 Enterprise version 1703, VS 2017 version 15.1, the Windows Developer SDK Build 15063, Windows UWP samples from the March 2017 update, and Windows Subsystem for Linux. It will be available until July 7 here.

Here are ten more links I've run across that might be useful to you, in no particular order and definitely not conforming to any particular theme:

CSS Tricks: When Does a Project Need React? The Gervais Principle III: The Curse of Development

forwardslash/: If Architects Were Developers These websites could change your life

The Week: Will the high-tech cities of the future be utterly lonely?

Canadian Developer Connection: Developing for Surface Dial

Sara Ford's Blog: How to resolve a conflict during a rebase in Visual Studio

IoT Developer: Tooling and Experience: Now, Write Arduino Program in Visual Studio Code

Jeremy Bytes: Implementing a Fibonacci Sequence with Value Tuples in C# 7

Redmond Magazine: Architectural Considerations of Modernizing SharePoint Apps

Know of an interesting link, or does your company have a new or updated product or service targeted at Visual Studio developers? Tell me about it at [email protected].

About the Author

Michael Domingo is a long-time software publishing veteran, having started up and managed several developer publications for the Clipper compiler, Microsoft Access, and Visual Basic. He's also managed IT pubs for 1105 Media, including Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine and Virtualization Review before landing his current gig as Visual Studio Magazine Editor in Chief. Besides his publishing life, he's a professional photographer, whose work can be found by Googling domingophoto.

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